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Food Safety

Health - Regulatory Committees - Standing Veterinary Committee 

Short report of the meeting (2000/23) held in Brussels on 22 August 2000

President: Mr. Bernard Van Goethem

All the Member States were represented.

1. Exchange of views of the Committee on the evolution of animal diseases in the Community including:

Classical swine fever

United Kingdom

The Commission explained that it had taken, on 14/08/2000, on its own initiative, certain protection measures in relation to the classical swine fever situation in the United Kingdom (Decision 2000/515/EC). The Decision laid down conditions for the movement of live pigs and pig semen from England.

The UK delegation distributed and presented a report on the CSF situation. On 04/08/2000, a suspected case of CSF on a holding containing a herd of rearing pigs was reported in Suffolk. The outbreak was confirmed on 08/08/2000. Following the initial report of suspect CSF, four further suspect CSF cases were reported and subsequently confirmed on 9 and 12 August 2000: Essex (1), Suffolk (1) and Norfolk (2). The herds were destroyed and the measures foreseen in Council Directive 80/217/EEC 1 were put in place. Protection and surveillance zones were established around the infected holdings. There are a total of 68 pig holdings in the protection zones and 1342 herds in the surveillance zones. The UK representative also presented a detailed report on each individual outbreak.

The delegate also provided information in relation to the laboratory diagnosis of the disease and the analysis of viral genome. The Commission distributed maps providing information as regards the distribution of genetic types of CSF virus isolates in domestic pigs and in wild boar in Europe (1997-2000).

Investigations concerning the origin and the spreading of the disease were being carried out but had not yielded definitive information yet.

See also point 4A.

The Belgian delegate distributed a document outlining the actions taken in Belgium following the CSF outbreaks in the UK

Foot-and-mouth disease

Greece

The Greek delegation distributed and presented a 3 rd follow-up report on the evolution of FMD in Greece. To date, a total of 11 outbreaks have been recorded. The report indicated that the disease had spread outside the already established protection and surveillance zones to other parts of Greece. See also point 4.

The Commission and the Member States said to be preoccupied by the lack of information about the FMD situation in Turkey. No outbreaks had been reported. The Commission said to have been informed that the autumn vaccination campaign 2000 would cover inoculation of all cattle, sheep and goats in Thrace and Marmara region.

Newcastle disease :

Italy

The Italian delegation said that up until 05.08.2000, a total of 237 outbreaks had been recorded, mainly in backyard flocks. The delegate confirmed that the vaccination programme against ND would be continued until 15.09.2000.

The following items were added to point 1:

Avian influenza

Italy

The Italian delegate reported 2 cases of low pathogenic avian influenza infections (LPAI) of H7 subtype in turkey flocks in the Veneto region. Infection was suspected in one other farm. The three flocks would be slaughtered. The Commission distributed a copy of the report adopted by the Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare (Doc. Sanco/2408/2000). The Commission highlighted the recommendations on the definition of AI for which control measures should be applied and on vaccination against AI. A proposal for a Council Directive amending Directive 92/40/EEC has been prepared in order to modify the definition of AI and will be submitted to the Council in the next few weeks. The Commission also requested the Member States to complete and return the questionnaires concerning the surveillance of AI infections of subtype H7 and H5 in wild birds and poultry before 16 October 2000.

Classical swine fever

Germany

The German delegation reported 2 outbreaks of CSF, both in the Bundesland Rheinland-Pfalz. The source of infection is unknown. The holdings are located in a protection zone, which is installed because of CSF in feral pigs.

2. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision amending Commission Decision 94/360/EC on the reduced frequency of physical checks of consignments of certain products to be imported from Third Countries (doc. Sanco/2072/2000)

The point was withdrawn from the agenda.

3. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision on the evolution of animal diseases in the Community and in Third Countries.

No items were raised.

4. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision amending Commission Decision 2000/486/EC concerning certain protection measures with regard to foot-and-mouth disease in Greece (doc. Sanco/2424/2000)

Further spread of foot-and-mouth disease was reported in Greece (see point 1). The Commission therefore proposed to extend the Community measures to restrict the movement of live susceptible animals and products derived from such animals from the provinces of Evros, Rodopi and Xanthi to other parts of Greece and the Community.

Vote: unanimous vote in favour.

4a. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Decision amending Commission Decision 2000/515/EC concerning certain protection measures relating to classical swine fever in the United Kingdom (doc. Sanco/2444/2000-rev.2)

Following disease control measures applied in the UK and the results of epidemiological enquiries, the Commission proposed to restrain the control measures established in Decision 2000/515/EC only to Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

Vote: unanimous vote in favour.

5. Miscellaneous

1. Germany sought clarification as regards the FMD situation in Argentina. Several other Member States supported the request. The Commission replied that the Argentinean authorities gave written assurances on their compliance with Community legislation in relation to the export of beef of ruminants to the EU and that Member States would be updated on further information.

2. The Greek delegation informed the Committee that, despite of the voluntary ban of Romania on export of certain live animals/animal products, export was still going on (see also Miscellaneous (1) of SVC 2000/22 of 19/07/2000). The delegate urged the Commission to take action. The Commission confirmed that this situation was unacceptable and that action was indeed to be taken. The issue would be re-discussed at the next SVC.

3. The Italian delegation formally requested the Commission to extend the deadline of 31.08.2000 for submission of data in relation to the financial contribution in the context of combating avian influenza.

4. Norway confirmed that the results of examinations for BSE of a six-year-old bull born in Denmark made it possible to conclude that the animal did not have BSE.

5. The Committee was informed that, in Zimbabwe, the fences separating the buffalo and cattle population were no longer fully operational. The issue would be tabled at the next SVC.

6. The Commission distributed a document entitled "Proceedings of the joint sixth annual meetings of the National Newcastle Disease and Avian Influenza Laboratories of countries of the European Union - Held in Brussels, 29 th-30 th November 1999" (Doc. Sanco/2472/2000)

N.B. The proposals on which the Committee expressed an opinion are subject to a defined procedure in relation to the formal adoption by the Commission.

Mission reports are available on the Internet at the following address: http://ec.europa.eu/food/fs/rc/svc/index_en.html

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1 Council Directive 80/217/EEC of 22 January 1980 introducing Community measures for the control of classical swine fever

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